In amongst the routine, it seems I have eased into a surreal mundanity of this new normal. And anytime now, a black cat will lead me down a laneway into an alternate reality ala a Murakami novel.
The days bleed into each other, and I’ve stopped naming them, instead referring a memory according to ‘the day it rained,’ or that everything happened ‘a couple of days ago.’ But today:
It’s a melancholic Saturday. I didn’t sleep well last night – going to bed over-tired and slightly annoyed, woken up by the rain and winds, and a flux of warm and cold – I slept in. The clouds move fast, revealing sun and rain, and cigarettes after sex playing in the background. But today:
It’s a clearer Sunday though not much brighter. I slept deeply, after an evening of cheese and wine and backgammon and kisses and quick catch ups with friends over screens. My washed hair left to dry, fresh-faced with nowhere to be except here in my solitude, the orbweavers playing in the background. But today:
“We are playing the long game, not the fast game.”
Is one of my favourite things to say. About my life as an artist. About my relationships. About my own personhood.
And this has never been more poignant than now.
We are in uncharted waters. I find myself in a situation with no roadmap. All my blueprints of what I think I know – I stare at it, and I’m slightly confused. The rules no longer apply, and the signposts tell a different story.
But just because it’s unfamiliar, doesn’t mean it’s untrue. And it certainly doesn’t mean it won’t work – that these new signposts may still take you to where you need to be.
Even in the artificiality of these COVID-19 times.
Ros is right. I have been in training – these past two years of sitting in grief, in the unknown, of holding complex feelings and desires and multiple narratives – of vulnerability and surrendering; I have been training.
And it’s like I’ve emerged from the nest(cave) that is my home into the real world of a new relationship with a real person in this new reality, and having all of what I thought I’ve learnt put to the real test isn’t it?
I mean what use is all of that processing if you aren’t going to live it.
If you aren’t going to live it.
And sometimes, it does feel like you threw a lucky double with the die you cast.
And so, one day at a time. Again and again. Over and over.
Only always, one day at a time.
Because in the uncertainty of time – the only thing you can be sure is to work out who you are, what you want, and where your boundaries lie – and the only thing you can do, is to pace yourself.
Because in the uncertainty of these times (and really, of life) – we are most definitely playing the long game, and not the fast game.
I’ve got the stamina.
I’ve got time.
And I’ve got another day.